At DoneGood, we want to help you find products and brands that do good for people and for the planet. A lot of people refer to that as “sustainable shopping” or “ethical shopping.” Those terms can encompass a lot, so for the sake of this page, let’s talk about sustainable shopping primarily as buying a product that’s “good for the planet,” (we talk about products being “good for the people who made them” over here).
As the global economy has continued to industrialize, the processes that make our products have become more complicated. We know less and less about how the items we purchase each day are being made.
The companies that make our apparel, home goods, and electronics can outsource almost every step along the way—and they do. So the major companies we buy from contract with many other companies to make their products, those companies in turn subcontract with still other companies, etc. As consumers demand more and cheaper products, without much idea of how they’re made, production of those products goes to the lowest bidder. The lowest bidder usually uses cheaper and cheaper processes to create cheaper and cheaper products—and that’s almost never good for the environment.
With few legal regulations to keep businesses in check, production being carried out in multiple countries, and manufacturing processes that are unfamiliar to consumers, big brands are able to create cheap products at just about any cost to the planet. This often means air and water pollution, insane amounts of fossil fuel usage, tons of waste to landfills, unsustainable fabrics, and hefty contributions to climate change.
The fashion industry alone, overwhelmingly considered one of the world’s largest polluting industries, is an easy place to see this. Between 2000 and 2014, global clothing production doubled. And fast fashion companies are purposefully cranking out cothing that wears out faster and goes out of style quicker. Instead of two or four seasons a year, they're into 26! Cranking out stuff in 2-week increments. They want us wearing clothes fewer times before we toss them, meaning we're giving more of our money to them--and purchasing more unsustainably-made clothes, more often.
You don’t want to buy from companies like that, but what’s the alternative?
How Things are Changing
At DoneGood, we think our planet deserves better, and that you deserve to be able to shop freely, without worrying that your purchase might be coming at the expense of the world you live in. A rapidly growing number of brands are committed to being the ultimate in eco-friendly. They’re reducing carbon emissions (some even going carbon neutral), making their products from recycled or upcycled materials, cutting their water usage, using renewable energy, and going zero-waste. We know you’d rather shop from brands like that.
But it can be a little complicated to find those brands on your own. The demand for sustainable products is on the rise, and big companies are starting to notice. That’s why you’ll see sustainability commitments from every big box store and fast fashion brand out there. We’re always happy to see that any company is making better choices for the environment, but unfortunately, some are just telling customers what they want to hear, with no intentions of making real changes, or they're making 1% of their lines sustainable with no change in the other 99%. And without anyone to hold them accountable, why not? They get the good PR without much real effort.
Sustainable brands know that their commitments mean nothing without transparency and accountability. That’s why they want you to know that they’ve got oversight in place from third-party certifiers to back up their claims. Organizations like B Corp, Rainforest Alliance, the Forest Stewardship Council, GOTS, and more certify that sustainable brands really are doing their due-diligence in eco-friendliness.
We know that sustainability is multi-faceted, which is why we have badges to let you know of additional measures our brands are taking to stay sustainable. For brands that are also organic, non-toxic, vegan, cruelty-free, or using upcycled/recycled materials, check out our By Values collections.
How DoneGood Can Help
Finding eco-friendly, sustainable brands and products takes a lot of research. But we’ve done all that research and found them for you! We’ve cut through some of the BS and jargon to find brands that are truly doing everything they can to care for the earth. They’re going above and beyond. Sure, they’re certified by the organizations above, but they’re even using their leftover, natural dye to fertilize their gardens, sourcing 100% recycled materials, donating portions of their profits to environmental causes, and much more.
So if you’re looking to shop sustainably, you’ve come to the right place. Check out our marketplace for thousands of sustainably-made products with one convenient checkout. Then download our browser extension to find sustainable alternative recommendations as you shop Amazon and other big brands. Let us do the work for you while you kick back and do your online shopping with a clean conscience.